How to Use and Not Use Essential Oils with your Baby
You might use essential oils all the time, but are they safe for baby? They can be, but you have to take special precautions. This article will tell you all you need to know about using essential oils with your baby.
All essential oils, while natural, are highly concentrated. Even a natural product can cause problems in high concentrations. Therefore, the core rule you need to follow is that essential oils must be diluted before use with a baby!
Another thing to note is that the skin of very young babies isn’t fully formed yet. There is a possibility that even diluted essential oils could be absorbed into the skin too much. Therefore, we also recommend that no essential oils be used with a baby under the age of three months.
How much should you dilute your essential oils? For babies under the age of one year, experts recommend 1 drop for every four teaspoons of carrier oil or cream. This is a very small amount. Until your children are at least age two, don’t use a stronger concentration than this. This reduces the chances of allergies and photosensitivity to these useful but concentrated oils.
Finally, never ever give a child an essential oil internally! This is a growing cause of poisoning.
Now that the precautions are out of the way, which essential oils are good for your baby? Here is a short list:
- Chamomile: Both German and Roman chamomile promote sleep
- Citronella: Bug repellant
- Coriander: Soothes tummies and creates calm
- Fir: Improves breathing
- Juniper: Calming
- Lavender: Calming and stops itching from insect bites
- Mandarin Orange: Improves mood
- Catnip: Promotes restful sleep and is excellent as a bug repellant
In fact, most essential oils can be used, but there are a few that must be avoided or used with care:
Cinnamon Bark and Clove: Can cause skin reactions, especially cinnamon bark. Use cinnamon leaf instead.
Eucalyptus: This is excellent for respiratory issues, but opinions vary widely on its safety. Proponents say that for babies, Eucalyptus radiata should be used, not Eucalyptus globulus. Speak with a physician before use.
Other citrus oils and Cumin: These oils can cause the skin to become more sensitive to UV rays, a phenomenon called photosensitivity. Mandarin orange oil is the least likely to cause this when diluted properly.
Finally, you should perform a spot test before using any essential oil with a baby. Dilute your oil then try a spot the size of a dime on your child. Wait 24 hours and see if a rash or any other allergy symptoms form before further use.
Need more help getting your baby to sleep? A few parents recommend feeding your baby oatmeal before bed to help your baby sleep better. At Amara, our instant baby cereal is one of the best organic baby cereals for your baby.